Detailed ReviewMotorhome review of the Adria Coral S 670 SU. This review was published in the February 2012 issue of MMM.
Is Adria’s luxury rear lounge-equipped low-profile all at sea, or riding the crest of a wave?
Adria, the big Slovenian manufacturer of caravans and motorhomes, has a well-deserved reputation for producing novel and well-developed designs: think of the much-copied Adria Twin panel van conversion, with its transverse rear bed.
Seven motorhome ranges are currently produced, from Twins up to the Sonic A-class – some with Renault and Mercedes base vehicles, but most built on Fiat Ducatos.
Adria considers Britain an important market, having exported here for some 30 years, and our penchant for U-shaped rear lounges has been noted and Adria dipped its toes in the water with last year’s Coral 670 SLL. Now, it returns with the improved Coral 670 SU, a 7.30-metre low-profile, combining the half-dinette beloved of Continentals with the extra space of the rear lounge. Certainly, there should be lots of choice for seating, but how will the two styles combine?
Externally, the Coral is a smart, medium/ large-sized, low-profile coachbuilt, with darkened windows and tasteful grey and red decals. You can specify (at considerable cost) grey or silver cab colouring, but the standard white, with colour-coded bumpers, was perfectly attractive to us. And this handsome body has a really tough, polyester GRP finishing coat. What appears to be an overcab sunroof turns out to be a painted panel: a Polyplastic skylight is available, but at nearly a grand extra.
The stylish Seitz door (conveniently, connected to the cab’s central-locking) is well forward on the offside, and opens onto a low step that’s nicely lit by a glowing Adria sign. The illuminated grab-handle is another nice touch. Opposite is the half-dinette and to the right, behind the driver, is a ‘dicky’ seat. To the left is a large, black-fronted, fridge/freezer and beyond that, the washroom. Aft of the dinette is an L-shaped kitchen, then a tall wardrobe and, occupying the whole of the rear, a sumptuous-looking lounge.
Décor is fairly standard in ‘Continental modern’ – a cream/beige lined pattern with beige faux-suede panels (sensibly treated with Glamour Shield stain protection). Cream removable carpets throughout are over wood-strip-effect vinyl and curtains in harmonising taupe. Afromozia woodwork is a medium tan, with the usual cream panels, silver handles and strips on overhead lockers. Lower kitchen units are cream and kitchen surfaces and tables are all high-gloss (the better to show fingerprints), with a dark grey speckle; they seem very durable. First impressions of the interior are favourable. Though not revolutionary, it’s modern, welcoming and roomy, while finish and material quality are very good.
The Coral is based on Fiat’s Ducato, with the special camper chassis produced specifically for motorhomes. This example, though new, was a pre-facelift version – future production ’vans will have the new Euro 5 compliant motor and revised, more flashy, cockpit trims. However, there’s not much wrong with the outgoing version in my opinion. The cab offers a good driving position, with multi-adjustable seats and a steering wheel adjustable for reach, if only marginally for rake. There are cubbies and bins galore, and this example boasted a rear-view camera screen, focusing on the ground immediately behind.
With reasonable visibility via the interior mirror (through the large lounge window), reversing sensors and the excellent door mirrors, this is a real case of ‘belt, braces, velcro and string’. However, there’s no radio: this is left for the buyer to choose – the habitation area is pre-wired for extra speakers and television, but again, none are fitted.
Adria’s British concessionaires are based in Long Melford in Suffolk, one of many picturesque small towns and villages in a lovely rural area, so it’s always a pleasure to visit and test here. However, the road network is challenging, to say the least: small, twisting lanes, tight bends, narrow sections and encroaching hedges – and those are just the A-roads! Road signs can be misleading, map information often outdated, so I dread to think where a satnav might tempt you to go! Where better to test drive someone else’s new (one mile on the odometer) luxury motorhome?
Naturally, the engine was very tight, and there was little opportunity for economical longlegged cruising: I only occasionally achieved sixth gear. The trip computer eventually claimed 19.7mpg overall, but I feel this is (fortunately) pessimistic. From past experience with similar ’vans, I’d certainly expect to achieve mid-20s, and ossibly up to 30mpg in perfect conditions.
Rural Suffolk is one area where the size of modern motorhomes makes you think carefully about route planning. It’s not so much length as width, which causes concern, particularly when fast-moving, oncoming lorries contest your side of the carriageway. Is it only me who wishes manufacturers wouldn’t increase size and girth of the new models? Our roads certainly aren’t getting any wider! The Coral performed well in these awkward circumstances – handling and road-holding were surefooted and the brakes excellent. With only nominal hills available, reversing capabilities couldn’t be checked, but things were fine on the flat.
Interior noise was muted, though there were some rattles, and we noted that the rear lounge window blinds (though not the dinette window – which had a concertina blind) were of the roller type, which relax and chatter incessantly when older (as many of us do).
LOUNGE, EAT AND MEET
With both dinette and rear lounge, you could hold a conference in here! We reckoned five could sit around the dinette table (which extends), plus another five or six folk at the back. The forward-facing dinette settee has two three-point belts for two rear travellers. Adria says the side seat is homologated for a fifth passenger, but as it only has a lap-strap, and even though it’s configured to face rearwards for travel, I’m not volunteering!
The half-dinette is as comfortable as any we’ve used. Up a small step, headroom is slightly limited at 1.85m (just over six feet), but quite acceptable as, generally, you’ll be seated. This allows the cab and dinette seats to be level, while bases and backs are all comfortably sculpted. With lounge and entrance door windows, two LED lights under the overhead nearside locker and a Midi Heki rooflight over the entrance, it’s reasonably well illuminated in here. However, we rather missed the optional overcab sunroof. The panel has four spotlights in compensation, but it still felt a little dark around the table. If I’m being picky, children may find the table-top a little high.
The rear lounge is also up a step, and has similarly restricted headroom. Settees stretch down both sides and across the rear, with shaped backrests (curved around the corners). Prominent knee-rolls adorn the front
of the settees. There’s another big table (stowed in the wardrobe), this one freestanding, so it’s useful for outdoors. There’s a Heki, four swivelling reading lights under the top lockers (which surround the lounge) and windows to side and rear. Though these windows are heavily tinted, the beautiful weather during our trip meant we hardly noticed this – it might be different in January!
The lounge is comfy for feet-up sprawling, though the proud knee-rolls might make the sitting uncomfortable for some. Interestingly, there’s no television point here – Adria has sited aerial and power points above the fridge, intending viewing to be from the dinette. We feel provision for a TV should be made in the rear lounge too. Certainly, for large gatherings on site, there’s room to spare and if there’s just the two of you... why, it’s positively decadent!
So, you have a large party aboard, sitting comfortably and hungrily expectant: can you feed them using the facilities provided? This is often a weak point on Continental ‘vans, presumably based on the view that the chef is on holiday too, and better weather abroad encourages more outdoor cuisine. Just ensure there’s room in the fridge to keep the beer cool! Adria has taken British requirements on board, to an extent.
The main L-shaped unit’s tough worktop contains a deep stainless steel sink with large drain-hole and tall mixer tap. As usual with Continental ’vans, there’s no drainer, but attempting to mitigate the lack of worksurface, there’s a divided lid, allowing part to be removed for access to the sink, and part left as worktop. There’s also a food waste container (‘compost bin’ according to Rona) set into the worktop. The cooker, a Thetford Triplex with three burners (electronically ignited) and a combi oven/grill beneath, has a glass lid.
Beneath is a slim cupboard with bottle rack. Below the sink is an excellent cutlery drawer, with removable tray, and further drawers, including one big enough for pans. Two high-level lockers (one shelved) have lights beneath and an extractor fan, which vents to the outside. There’s also a high-level cocktail cabinet with curved black plastic doors. We tried carrying our wine glasses therein – good thing they’re plastic, as they fell out of their holders when travelling.
Opposite, on the offside, is the impressive fridge/freezer. With a total capacity of 160 litres, this should cope with all cooling requirements. The surface above, with a nearby socket perfect for the kettle, is too tall for general use as a kitchen worktop. A less enormous fridge, with freezer compartment incorporated, could provide a lower, more useful surface here. It’s not the biggest kitchen and in practice, Rona found it lacking in working area, both for preparation and washing-up. However, she approved of the big deep sink and the hob (three burners rather than four means pans aren’t crammed together). The oven worked well too. Overall, the kitchen passed critical
muster, with reservations as to worktop space.
Just behind the fridge is the washroom. Immediate impressions are of brightness and light, despite the lack of window. A skylight, white plastic shower walls and multitude of mirrors explain this effect. And with a mirrored corner cupboard, a large door mirror and two on the walls, there’s no escaping your reflection. The corner vanity unit contains a tambourdoored cupboard and grey oval plastic basin. This is rather low – in fact I found it easier to clean teeth at the kitchen sink. Thetford’s C250 swivel toilet sits in front and, enthroned, you might find elbow room tight.
To the right is a teleporter-type shower cubicle, with curved sliding plastic screen – should be popular with Trekkies! Its proportions aren’t generous, so it helps if you’re slim. There’s a shower-head on a riser bar and a ceiling light in here. Oddly, whilst three towel hooks are provided, there are no toilet-roll, toothbrush or soap holders. Within the constraints of its limited internal dimensions, this washroom works satisfactorily and is nicely finished, but it would have been more enjoyable to use had a few more inches of space been available.
UP AND DOWN AT NIGHT
This motorhome may carry four travellers in safety, but they can’t all sleep inside. Adria labels the 670 SU a three berth ’van, but the front single bed, made from the half-dinette, is hardly worthy of the description. Like many dinette beds, it’s tadpole-shaped, much wider at the top than the bottom and made by combining settee and
seat. In length and width, it’s certainly big enough for one person. What makes it unusable, however, is the
heavily-shaped settee base and back, which are so memorably comfortable for daytime seating. At night, it might be like trying to sleep on a solid wave! No, Coral 670 SU is really a two berth, with a choice of two singles or a double which is a big 2.10 metres wide. On second thoughts, that’s certainly big enough for three, provided you’re all friendly...
Making a U-shaped lounge into a bed, or beds, should be simple – the work of a minute or two. Alas, not here.
For single beds, all that’s needed is to remove the two curved, corner backrest cushions and shove them in the cab (they’re very chunky, each being three cushions joined together, so occupy a deal of room). To form the double, however, those pesky knee-rolls mean all cushions must be turned – so the shaping faces the ’van sides – and they’re quite big and bulky, if not heavy. Then, infill slats draw forwards from a box at the rear, and the seatback cushions squeeze together in the middle. OveralI, it’s quite a faff and so unnecessary. Do away with the knee-rolls all round, the seat would be lower (thus better for sitting too) and bed-making would be a doddle.
Bed-making completed, whether singles or double, the cushions are supportive and comfortable. There’s a curtain to divide you from the remainder of the ’van, but with just the two of you on board, you won’t need it! Up front, the cab’s Remis blinds pull together easily and cut out light efficiently. This time, therefore, Adria has scored a near miss with its beds: if one ignores the dinette, the end result is good, but turning all the cushions to form the mattress is a chore.
Payload isn’t massive – at 391kg on the standard 3,500kg chassis – especially if carrying three extra adults in addition to the driver, (whose weight is taken into account). If specifying the more powerful engine (a mighty 180bhp in the face-lifted version) and/or the heavy spare wheel and carrier (which regrettably is only an optional extra), one might be inclined to upgrade the chassis to 3,650kg, assuming your licence so allows.
Despite having a rear lounge, Adria has managed to include a low ‘garage’ (maximum weight capacity 150kg), with side-hinged exterior doors and tie-down rings. This store extends under the offside settee, where there’s another external door. From inside the ’van access can be gained to the garage/store, through a drop-down flap in the rear settee front and via removable sections of slatted bed-base. There’s a just a shallow tray under the nearside settee, because the Truma heater lives below.
Above the rear lounge are six overhead lockers and corner shelves for your books and magazines. There’s another locker above the small side seat up front and two more over the dinette table opposite. High, in each side of the overcab, is a cupboard for small items. As previously described, the kitchen area has reasonable storage, and there’s ample space for toiletries in the washroom. There’s quite a number of stretchy pockets for magazines, maps and the like – beside the entrance door, for instance, and in the ceiling panel above the dinette.
However, what’s missing from the scheme is somewhere for bulky bedding: the area above the overcab would be the obvious place – with no sunroof the space isn’t used for anything else – but there’s only a narrow shelf here. No room under the dinette settee – that’s occupied by the freshwater tank. The dicky seat base has a little space, but also houses the leisure battery. No, the only available place is the wardrobe, just behind the kitchen. That’s a shame, as it’s huge (with a hanging drop of 1.57 metres) and could otherwise take loads of gear. As it is, it seemed quite small with our sleeping bags and pillows stashed there, and their presence made the free-standing rear table difficult to remove.
KITTED OUT WITH LUX
As usual with Continental motorhomes, the fresh water tank is large (110 litres) and sited inboard. The waste water tank is underslung, but has insulation and heating that’s activated by a separate button on the Schaudt control panel, mounted above the caravan door. The gas locker accommodates two 11kg gas cylinders, and has Secumotion fitted, allowing safe use of the gas heating whilst enroute. Adria specifies the leisure battery as an optional extra (£216); it may be better to buy the ideal size yourself, get the dealer to fit it and it may work out cheaper.
With radio, television and bracket, spare wheel and rear steadies (advisable, with rear bed and long overhang) all optional, I’m inclined to feel the Coral is slightly underequipped in its standard trim. I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t specify the SE Lux pack, which for £2,890, gives passenger airbag, cruise control, cab air-conditioning and the solid-and-pleasing Seitz caravan door, plus an upgrade in the heating to the excellent Truma Combi 6E (powered by gas/mains electricity). However, as far as home comforts are concerned, Coral’s are well placed and generous – there are blown air vents everywhere: under the dicky seat, under the dinette table, in the doorway, the dinette step, washroom, rear lounge step and two in the rear lounge.
All lights are LEDs, and the ambient strips (around the cornice) illuminate the top lockers’ interiors. Two ceiling light fittings (one amidships and one over the rear lounge) each have three LED lights, which can be switched to blue should the mood take you. Mains sockets are well placed: adjacent the dinette table (convenient for the laptop), in the nearside settee base in the rear lounge, above the fridge and below the kitchen surface.
What’s one to make of Adria’s new offering? As we’d expect from this company, it’s robustly constructed and beautifully finished – aside from some wiring left exposed in cupboard interiors (I’m nit-picking). The motorhome, like most Fiats and other Sevels, drives very sweetly, though like all of them, it’s perhaps a shade wide for comfort on busy narrow roads.
The half-dinette is an excellent example of its type – unusually, we found it comfortable enough to use as a main lounge, rendering the extra, huge rear seating area almost unnecessary. In fact, we’d be tempted to leave the monster double bed there permanently made – especially when there’s good weather outside. Washroom and kitchen are both somewhat compromised in size, which limits their practicality, and I’d like somewhere other than the wardrobe to keep bedding.
Though not cheap, it’s comparable in price to the opposition, even when fully kitted out, and it should certainly be on the shortlist of anyone in the market for a luxurious rear lounge ’van.
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